I’ve decided to start writing a blog series to share with you my leadership journey as I embark on the Leadership Victoria Williamson Community Leadership Program in 2015. This will be series of posts throughout the year aimed at sharing with you my reflections and learnings.

Having commenced the program last month with an opening retreat, let me first congratulate Leadership Victoria on their ability to select and bring together such a unique and diverse group of professionals, each contributing a different background and history to form an amazingly rich tapestry of participants. It’s evident already from the first few sessions that we are going to learn as much if not more from one another than the program itself. I’m now only starting to realise some of the magic that is Williamson which makes this such an experiential program and a life changing experience for many of its alumni.

The year ahead is both extremely exciting and also daunting as I prepare to be challenged professionally, ethically and emotionally as we tackle some of society’s greatest issues.

My early learnings have been about the true sense of “community leadership” and what this means for me. As we explored this notion I found comfort in the fact that community leadership is people who have no formal authority who get out and do something for someone. It is about building confidence and hope, something which we don’t hear so much about now a day with the negativity of the press and media.

My early reflections from our various case studies and guest speaker sessions include:

  • As a leader I need to maintain my self-awareness in all situations, ensuring I don’t get drawn down too much into the situation. The view “from the balcony” will ensure that my decisions remain objective and rational. This is much easier said than done, however the realisation of the importance of this is what differentiates the good leaders.
  • The importance of reflection itself is one of my greatest benefits from the opening retreat. This is something which most of us very rarely take time to do, however when we do it offers such development and personal growth. Through utilising a basic reflection framework it enables me now to become more self-aware as to how things are impacting and shaping me and my view (what have I learnt, what attitudes and feelings do I now have, what have I learnt about myself and what does this mean for me?)
  • The importance of mental health and well-being in our role as leaders. A number of our guest speakers shared their experiences in the high profile media spotlight and it was truly evident that you can’t be a true leader to others if you’re not personally looking after yourself physically and mentally.

I can picture the program ahead building upon and reinforcing my early reflections and as we commence entertain some deeper discussions and explore challenges within our society. I look forward to sharing this journey with you through this blog series.

Andrew Marty
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